Important visitors were coming to our mine site.
From an environmental perspective, the site needed to look its best. We were keen to impress!
Preparation was paramount to the success of the visit. We had spent weeks planning for this day.
I sent my team of two advisors (from corporate office) to site, a few days in advance of the visit to provide additional support to site staff. It seemed that despite our polite requests for help, communications about the importance of the visit, and despite support at a corporate level,
many site staff were in no mood to cooperate, to be helpful in any shape or form.
To the credit of our environmental team, they did what they could on their own and with support of a few individuals. Tempers flared as they continued to ask favors for activities that required specialist machinery. They were frustrated by the lack of support.
The day before the visit, they were exhausted and reported that they were not able to get the site to a standard that we were wanting. My response was ‘you have done your best and nobody can ask any more than that’.
The site visit went very well. Our visitors were impressed. Our communications were professional, and everything went according to schedule and plan.
We’d achieved an 80% rating for the presentation of the site (according to our own standards) and that turned out to be good enough. The environmental team could have done nothing, continued to butt heads with the mining teams, and achieved very little. Instead they got out there, got their hands dirty and did what they could by exploring every resource or avenue available to them, which got the site presentation to the 80% mark.
They were disappointed at the time. They wanted the site to look its best, but that extra 20% would not have made any difference to the outcome.
The moral of this story is that when faced with adversity, you do the best that you can with the resources available, and if you apply the 80:20 rule then it is likely that will be good enough to achieve your objective.